Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lucky Seven Book Review #4: WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE by Sarah Dessen

I've been on a reading binge lately, and I've been lucky enough to have read seven excellent books that you definitely should bump to the top of your TBR list. (And five of them are from debut authors!) Here's a brief recommendation of the fourth of the seven, and happy reading!


What Happened to Goodbye (Sarah Dessen)
(Viking, May 2011)

Summary from Goodreads: Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move---four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Sarah Dessen books are like my YA reading happy place, and WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE is no exception. Sarah is a queen of contemporary novels, with pitch-perfect voice, the right touch of humor, and an emotional heart that really resonates in a non-cheesy way.

In WHtG, I started out pretty neutral on the protagonist, McLean, but with each passing chapter I became more and more understanding of how her past shaped her into someone who's uncomfortable and even afraid of being who she is.

The framing of the story keeps it interesting -- rehabbing a failed restaurant, building a tiny model of the town, an addiction to college basketball -- and her family is flawed in totally normal ways that make you root for them to pick up the broken pieces, even when you understand how much they've hurt each other.

Sarah's also given McLean an envy-worthy group of new friends (Deb! Be my BFF!) who frequently made me smile, plus an oh-so-cute crush interest named Dave --- just enough incentive for McLean to break down the walls she's built around herself. (Sarah's awesome in real life, so no wonder she writes such appealing characters!)

Basically, Dessen has done it again, and you should totally check out WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE.

Audiobook aside: I listened to WHtG as an audiobook, and I totally loved the narration! Definitely recommended.

Further evidence: Reviews from Steph Su Reads and Forever YA

Check out book one of the Lucky Seven: THE GIRLS OF NO RETURN by Erin Saldin
Check out book two of the Lucky Seven: THE PROBABILITY OF MIRACLES by Wendy Wunder
Check out book three of the Lucky Seven: UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi

Stay tuned for book five of the Lucky Seven --- GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers! 

And if you're in the mood to win a book, check out our giveaway of the awesome debut FRESHMAN YEAR AND OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS!

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this one! Totally agree with you about Deb- she was awesome! ;)



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